ONCOLOGY NURSE PROTECTION- Is it time for more precise legislation on exposure to hazardus drugs?
EARLY RECOGNTION-Is the positive contribution of point-of-care diagnostics to healthcare effectiveness & efficiency being under-estimated, underrecognised and/or under-funded in Europe?
TIME FOR A TURNAROUND ON TURNAROUND TIME
How sharp are we on safety?-An assessment of safer sharps adoption in UK hospitals
Healthcare Associated Infections- Britons will go a long way to avoid them
Forget information overload….
….the real challenge is content intelligence
Britons banish debt worries: Consumers less worried about personal debt than a year ago
London, 22nd April 2014- Latest research by MindMetre finds that Britons are less worried about their personal debt than they were a year ago (57%), confirming government reports that since 2008 household debt has fallen relative to income.
In order to take the pulse of consumer sentiment towards their current levels of debt now that the recovery is in progress, MindMetre carried out research analysing the views of 2000 Britons representative, by age, region and gender and found that the majority (59%) confirm that they have good reason to feel less worried as they report that their levels of debt have fallen compared to last year. But they are not resting on their laurels, as the survey shows that UK consumers are planning to reduce their personal debt even further.
- 60% say they will focus on shrinking their high-interest-rate credit card debt;
- 52% will focus on reducing their mortgage, usually representing the largest source of personal debt;
- 44% report they intend to reduce other forms of unsecured debt such as student loans, other loans and overdrafts.
Rising house prices and consumption are signs that the UK economy is picking up, however household debt, including mortgage debt, was recently reported to have reached a record high. In addition to this, the warning by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that wage growth in the UK is not expected to return to the norm for another two years, combined with rising house prices and wage stagnation this may result in may result in an erosion of people’s savings. Moreover, if borrowing continues to grow disproportionately to wages, it may become very difficult for people to eventually pay back what they owe.
Paul Lindsell, Managing Director at MindMetre Research, comments: “This research reveals that the public is optimistic about their personal finances and in particular that personal debt worries are decreasing. But, as Britons report that they have reduced their debt, official statistics warn that increasing house prices and low wage growth may drive up borrowing. This would defeat the repayment objectives voiced by large part of the population and drive savers, who have already been suffering from low interest rates, to dip into their nest eggs.
“Should inflation and borrowing continue to rise, the Bank of England may well decide to raise interest rates making it suddenly much harder for borrowers to pay back their loans. Unless wage growth recovers, borrowing growth in the UK can only be viewed with concern and the hope that respondents really do manage in their aim to pay back some of their existing debt.”
For a full copy of the research note please contact Josephine Ornago, Head of Research at MindMetre: Josephine@mindmetre.com or click here
MindMetre Research interviewed a sample of 2,000 UK citizens, nationally representative by age, region and broad social background. The interviews were conducted online in January/March 2014. Respondents were asked their views on whether they were more or less worried about personal debt compared to one year ago, whether their debt had increased or decreased in the same period and which types of debt they would prioritise paying back. The margin of error in this study is +/- 2%.
A penny for your thoughts? Invitations to tender influenced by thought leadership
London, 28th January 2014- Thought Leaders, people or businesses that are recognized as expert and authoritative in their market, are more likely to be called to tender say 72% of UK businesses. But the material they publish must be genuinely informative and credible.
This is the key finding of a survey of over 2,000 UK companies by consumer and business analyst MindMetre Research. The sample, broadly representative of UK business by sector, was canvassed in order to uncover the level of influence thought leadership plays in buying and tendering decisions. The presence of thought leadership content on a company website was found to play a crucial role in getting companies’ the proverbial ‘foot in the door’ by providing validation of company expertise. It was also found that thought leadership can help companies actually get invited to tender.
Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of MindMetre Research, comments: “2013 may be the year when an internet business technique, known as ‘content marketing’, converges with ‘thought leadership’ to provide a compelling combination of quality content and powerful distribution channel. But amateurism and commercial myopia are very real dangers when it comes to research, and have often been seen to lead to pseudo-statistics that suspiciously support a company’s commercial interests per se without adding any value to the reader. Publishing statistics that are wrong or exaggerated can lead to huge reputational damage.”
The detailed outcomes of the survey are:
- When compiling a tender list for technology and equipment, 61% of companies research possible candidate suppliers on the web and will visit the company website to validate its expertise
- For companies looking for a business services supplier, the proportion rises to 70%
- 72% of UK businesses report that they are much more likely to invite a supplier to tender if their website not only describes the sales proposition, but also gives access to informative and relevant thought leadership material
- Fully 80% of businesses warn that thought leadership must be based on credible, independent research and not simply be a collection of personal opinions
Regus, the global workplace provider, runs a twice-yearly research programme providing thought leadership content for its communications spanning across over 90 countries. Andrew Brown, Group Communications Director at Regus, comments: “As the leading player in our industry, we believe that our communications should reflect our expertise through thought leadership. This type of content is produced to provide our prospect and client market places with timely, useful insights on issues that really concern them, and that they can use to build more successful businesses. That is the reason we produce a twice-yearly overview of business confidence and regularly canvass companies globally about their views on critical issues such as employment and productivity. For a constantly expanding international business like us, another benefit of developing and disseminating thought leadership content is to share through expert analysis of the local markets how flexible working can bring benefits to businesses and help them grow. ”
Lindsell continues: “Companies other than management consultancies are increasingly recognising that they can gain tangible competitive advantage by demonstrating commercially valuable ‘thought leadership’ in their customer markets. By addressing issues in the customer’s market the company shows that it is knowledgeable about these issues and can help find a solution.
“Buyer organisations evidently consider the demonstration of thought-leadership by potential suppliers to be important, and influential when deciding which supplier to use. So, while thought leadership confirms its key role in building a reputation for a new entrant into a market, established market players can also build their reputation further with customers, influencers, and stakeholders through the generation of interesting material. “
A copy of the full research paper may be obtained by emailing Josephine Ornago at Mindmetre Research on Josephine@mindmetre.com or click here
Support for UK MPs’ higher pay sees dramatic increase says new independent research from MindMetre
Despite adverse commentary on recommendations on MPs’ pay from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, public support for higher remuneration for parliamentarians has risen dramatically, according to a new study by MindMetre research.
The study, which compares voter views from January/February and November/December 2013 shows that almost two in every five voters (37.2%) now think that MPs should be paid “more in line with business leaders”, a virtual doubling of public support since the beginning of the year. Amongst young working voters (25-34 yrs) almost half (49.4%) are in favour of higher MPs’ pay. Least support (29.9%) comes from voters in their last working decade (55-64 yrs).
‘More in line with business leaders’ is defined in the study as equivalency with senior business managers who, according to third party evidence, are paid between £80,000 and £130,000 per year. Senior civil servants – another possible comparator – have a median pay level around one sixth higher than the basic salary of an MP The new research also reveals that 40.5% of UK citizens believe higher pay for MPs would largely eliminate false expenses claims, cash for questions, inappropriate commercial interests, and other abuses of the current system. Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of MindMetre, notes, “The issue of MPs’ remuneration is too important a subject for emotional response or political posturing. It needs to be the subject of objective and balanced debate – which is certainly not a hallmark of the current situation. Getting remuneration levels right is critical to ensuring top talent is attracted to British politics, while at the same time removing abuse from the system. The real debate is about getting the best outcome for British citizens in decades to come. “As a completely apolitical organisation, we felt it important to offer some hard statistics into the debate. The outcomes of this survey, tracking public opinion through the year, but importantly conducted just before public opinion could be swayed by recent press coverage, show several key trends. On the one hand, support for higher MPs’ pay is not yet supported by an overall majority of voters. On the other hand, a significant and growing proportion of the electorate feel MPs should be paid more, attracting talent into politics and helping to eliminate abuses of the system. Since almost half of younger working adults support this view, we can sensibly conclude that support for higher pay is likely to rise in coming years.”
MindMetre Research interviewed a sample of 2,000 UK citizens, nationally representative by age, region and broad social background. The interviews were conducted online in January/February 2013 and again in November/December 2013. Respondents were asked their views on whether MPs should be paid more in line with business leaders, and whether higher MPs’ salaries would largely eliminate abuses of their position. The margin of error in this study is +/- 2%.
A number of UK NHS Trusts have failed to implement safer sharps despite EU Directive reveals MindMetre research
London, February 2014 – New research from MindMetre reveals that one third of NHS Trusts do not instruct staff to use safety devices ‘wherever possible’ in their sharps policies, despite this being an explicit requirement of the UK’s Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013[i].
The majority of NHS Trusts are vigorously working towards compliance with the EU Directive[ii] on the prevention of sharps injuries. Five in every six have reviewed their sharps policies, and two thirds have instructed staff to use safety devices ‘wherever possible’ in order to protect clinical, care and ancillary staff from injury and possible infection, but some Trusts are being left behind. Findings from the MindMetre research report include:
- 84% of Trusts have revised and published their sharps policy in the light of the EU Directive, of whom 17% revised their sharps policy post-Directive and pre UK statutory instrument
- 59% of Trusts instruct staff to use safety devices ‘wherever possible’ in their sharps policy; however 33% of Trusts do not make this instruction in their sharps policy
- 29% mandate the use of safety devices in particular categories, particularly cannulation and phlebotomy
- Of those Trusts able to make an accurate estimate, safety device usage (measured in volume of procedures) has risen from 23% in 2009, to 67% by the end of 2013
Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of MindMetre Research, notes: “Evidently, the larger proportion of NHS Trusts are taking compliance with EU Council Directive 2010/32/EU and Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 very seriously. With almost a fifth of Trusts having revised their sharps policies in advance of the mandatory national regulation date in 2013, and with two thirds of Trusts instructing staff to use safety sharps products ‘wherever possible’, it is clear that most are demonstrating their concern with clinical, care and ancillary staff safety with tangible action. However, there remains a proportion of Trusts that have not revised their sharps policies; moreover, one third of Trusts are not encouraging their staff to use safety devices ‘wherever possible’, despite this being an explicit piece of guidance in the relevant regulation. “We expect further progress to be made across 2014, both by pioneering Trusts in this regard, and also from those that have made slower progress. An estimated one million sharps injuries occur in the European Union each year[iii]. The risk of injury and possible infection (from bloodborne pathogens including Hepatitis and HIV) for the dedicated people working in our health service is clearly unacceptable and now has the force of EU law and local regulation behind it.”
Research Methodology Over the period July-December 2013, MindMetre Research conducted a request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (2000), amongst the UK’s 159 NHS Acute Trusts. The enquiry sought to understand the proportion of Trusts that had reviewed/revised their safety policy in the light of the EU Directive 2010/32/EU in May 2010, through UK statutory instrument, 2013 No. 645, The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013. The research covered four key areas:-
- The proportion of Acute Trusts that has revised and published their sharps policy before or subsequent to the May 2013 deadline for local law transposition of the EU Sharps Directive
- The level of instruction in those sharps policies to use safety devices wherever possible
- Any level of mandatory instruction to use safety devices, and for which procedures
- Safety device implementation levels, comparing 2009 status with that in 2013
Two thirds of Britons likely to sue if they contract a serious infection during hospital treatment, says new MindMetre study
(London: January 2014) Two thirds (64%) of Britons would sue a hospital if they contracted a serious Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) while undergoing treatment. This is the key finding from a new study on the subject by independent organisation MindMetre Research.
This tendency towards litigation on the part of British citizens revealed by the MindMetre study highlights an important source of reputational risk for NHS Acute Trusts and private hospitals. In the new NHS structure, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be planning the level and type of services that they commission from Acute Trusts, and it is likely that HCAI rates will be a significant factor in those decisions, as CCGs responsibly look for the best service for their patients. On the subject of HCAI reduction, Acute Trusts have been focused on reducing MRSA and C.difficile infection rates, and have scored considerable success in these two areas. However, official sources have confirmed that an increasing range of new infection types, some of which are also antibiotic-resistant, are appearing in UK hospitals. The MindMetre study suggests that more resources should be devoted to HCAI prevention and management techniques, from basic hygiene to rapid screening of all patients. The paper recognises that additional investments are challenging in a health system under pressure to achieve £20bn in ‘efficiency savings’ by 2015, and £50bn by 2020. Nevertheless, the paper suggests that the reputational/litigation risk to hospitals with higher HCAI rates, and the possible consequential loss of patient volumes, is a major incentive to focus on reducing the full range of HCAIs. Paul Lindsell, Managing Director at MindMetre, comments, “Healthcare Associated Infections are both an ethical and practical issue in our healthcare system. Every effort must be made to ensure that when one goes to hospital for treatment, one does not end up with a further serious infection. However, on a practical note, any serious underperformance on a key patient safety issue in UK hospitals is now seen to have equally serious consequences for the relevant Acute Trust. In the new CCG-led NHS structure, it is quite easy to see patient volumes being adversely affected if a hospital has a higher than average HCAI rate. We contend that more attention needs to be paid to reducing HCAIs outside of the great success achieved with MRSA and C.difficile.”
To download a copy please click here
Research Methodology Fieldwork was conducted by MindMetre Research from September-December 2013, via online questionnaires, amongst a nationally representative sample of 3,000+ per country, in the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United States. Margin of error:- +/- 1.78%.
 For instance, HPA, English National Point Prevalence Survey on Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use, 2011: preliminary data